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A
AABA (Ambient Air Breathing Apparatus)
Low pressure (<15 psi) ambient air pump that supplies air from the surrounding area to workers in another location.
AC (Alternating Current)
An electrical current that travels in a circuit. Usually provided through electrical outlets.
Acetate
Scratch resistant material used for faceshields that protects against chemical splash and light impact.
ACFM
Actual cubic feet per minute.
Acid
Reacts with an alkali to form a salt. Can cause skin, eye, and lung irritation.
ADA
Americans with Disabilities Act.
Aerated
To supply or impregnate with air. Allows water to "bubble" at the face rather than "hit" it. Covers face and eyes more thoroughly than non-aerated water which will "bounce" off of the face.
Alkali
Compound that has the ability to neutralize an acid and form a salt.
Ambient
The surrounding atmosphere.
Amp Probe
Meter which allows for the measurement of large amounts of current without breaking the circuit. Clamps around a conductor.
Amperage (AMP)
The strength of an electric current as measured in amperes.
Ampere
Also referred to as "amp." Unit of measure applied to the flow of a charge in a conductor.
ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
Private organization that provides the standards that manufacturers need to comply with.
APR (Air Purifying Respirator)
Mask that pulls air through cartridges as you breathe.
Arc Rating
The maximum incident energy resistance demonstrated by a material (or a layered system of materials) prior to break open, or at the onset of a second-degree skin burn. Arc rating is normally expressed in cal/cm2.
Arimid
Flame-retardant fiber.
Arresting Force
Force transmitted by the body when a fall is arrested.
ASME
American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)
Technical organization which develops standards on characteristics and performance of materials, products, systems, and services.
ATPV (Arc Thermal Performance Value)
Expressed in cal/cm2. Also called arc rating.
Attenuation
Reduction, expressed in decibels, of the sound intensity at a first location as compared with sound intensity at a second location.
AWS
American Welding Society.
B
Base
See alkali.
Belly Split Leather
Most economical leather. Least consistent texture and appearance.
Bi-metal
Steel used in making blades. Comprised of a high carbon steel (flexible) backing with an HSS (hard and durable) edge welded to it. Blade's cutting teeth are ground into the HSS edge.
Biohazard
Infectious agents presenting a potential risk to a person's well-being.
Bloodborne Pathogen
Virus or infection, such as Hepatitis B or HIV, that is present in blood and can be transmitted through blood or bodily secretions.
Body Harness
Distributes the arresting forces over the thighs, shoulders, and pelvis, and can be attached to a lanyard, lifeline, or deceleration device.
Bonding
Interconnecting of two objects with clamps and bare wire. Helps prevent static sparks that could ignite flammable materials.
Bound Seam
Clean-finished chainstitch binding, which encapsulates raw edges of fabric. For intermediate levels of protection.
BPM
Blows per minute.
Breakthrough Time
Time from initial chemical contact to detection.
BTU
British thermal unit.
Butyl
Synthetic rubber which provides the highest permeation resistance to gases and water vapors. Does not offer the physical strength of natural rubber.
C
Cal (Calorie)
A unit of thermal energy.
Capacitance
The ratio of charge to potential on an electrically charged, isolated conductor.
Capacitor
Fundamental electrical device capable of storing an electrical charge.
Carabiner
Self-closing, self-locking steel connector used to attach to an anchorage point.
Carbide Steel
Very hard steel known for its ability to maintain a sharp cutting edge under hard use.
CarbonX
Flame-resistant material.
Case Hardened Finish
Finish manufactured into a glove which repels chemicals and makes donning and doffing easy.
Caustic
Strongly irritates, burns, corrodes, or destroys living tissue.
CBRN
Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear.
CFM
Cubic feet per minute.
CFR
Code of Federal Regulations.
Chlorinated Finish
Finish on gloves which ensures easy donning and doffing and provides extra chemical and abrasion resistance.
"CLASS A" Fire
Wood, paper, cloth, trash, or other ordinary materials.
"CLASS B" Fire
Gasoline, grease, oil, paint, or other flammable liquids.
"CLASS C" Fire
Live electrical equipment.
"CLASS D" Fire
Flammable metals.
Class I, Division I
Where igntiable concentrations of flammable gases, vapors, or liquids can exist all of the time or some of the time under normal operating conditions.
Class I, Division II
Where igntiable concentrations of flammable gases, vapors, or liquids are not likely to exist under normal operating conditions.
Clute Pattern
Cut and sewn glove pattern featuring a straight thumb, and seams on the back of the hand.
CO
Carbon Monoxide.
Cobalt Steel
Hard steel often used in drill bits. Maintains sharp edge under pressure and heat build-up.
Collet
Non-adjustable bit holder found on rotary tools and routers.
Combustible Liquid
Burns at a flash point between 100°F and 200°F.
Continuity Test
DMM function which indicates audibly or visually that a complete circuit has been made.
Continuous Flow
Respirator system where air is continuously supplied to a mask or hood. Used where air supply capacity is not a problem.
Cordura®
Dense, tightly woven nylon fabric. Very durable.
Corrosive
Substance (such as acid) that "eats away" or gradually weakens something.
Counts
Potential number which a DMM is capable of displaying. For example, 4-digit DMMs display 10,000 counts; 0-9999 and any number in between.
CSA
Canadian Standards Association.
Current
Free flow of electrons in a conductor.
D
dB (Decibel)
Unit that expresses the relative intensity of sounds on a scale of 0 (least perceptible) to 130 (pain level).
DC (Direct Current)
Electric current that travels in one direction. Usually supplied by batteries or a transformer that changes a current from AC to DC.
Degradation
Change in physical properties due to erosion from chemicals.
Dexterity
The ability to feel through gloves.
Dielectric
Material that doesn't conduct or transfer a direct electric current.
Digital Multimeter (DMM)
Meter which displays the measurement in numerical form via an LCD or LED display.
Direct Venting
Series of holes on a goggle that allows direct air flow to the space behind the lenses. Shouldn't be used for splash because these vents will allow fluid through.
DMM
Digital multimeter.
Doff
To take something off.
Donn
To put something on.
DOT
Department of Transportation.
Double-Insulated
Provides electric shock protection through the use of two separate systems of electrical insulation.
Duck Cuff
Economical, single ply cotton added for durability.
Duty-Cycle
Percentage of a 10-minute period that a welder can operate at a specified output before it needs to have a cool-down cycle.
E
EH
Electrical hazard.
Electric Arc
Electrical conduction through a gas in an applied electric field.
Electrolytes
Essential salts and minerals contained in bodily fluids.
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
Federal agency with environmental protection, regulatory, and enforcement authority.
EPDM
Ethylene propylene diene monomer.
ESD
Electro-static dissipative.
Exposure Level
Level or concentration of a physical or chemical hazard to which a person is exposed.
F
Farad
Electrical unit of measure indicating a capacitor's ability to store a charge.
FCC
Federal Communications Commission.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
Responsible for ensuring that foods, drugs, biological products, medical devices, and cosmetics are safe, and accurately and informatively represented.
Filter Holder
Base plate that a prefilter would be placed on. Needed when not using a cartridge in conjunction with the prefilter. If using a cartridge then the cartridge will act as the "holder".
Filter Retainer
Top piece that holds the prefilter onto a cartridge or filter holder.
Fit Test
See Qualitative or Quantitative Fit Test. Required by OSHA. Must be satisfactorily completed before a respirator is worn in a contaminated area.
  • Irritant Smoke - Used on P100 filters only.
  • Saccharin - Used on particulate filters only.
  • Banana Oil - Used on organic vapor cartridges only.
Flame Arrester
Screen found inside the spout of a safety can to prevent fire flashback to the can contents.
Flame Resistant
Textiles or leather goods that naturally resist burning.
Flame Retardant
A textile that has been chemically treated to resist burning and is self-extinguishing when the source of ignition is removed.
Flash Point
Lowest temperature at which something will ignite.
Flock Lined
Shredded fiber, usually cotton, applied to the inside surface of a glove. Helps absorb perspiration and aids in donning and doffing.
FM (Factory Mutual)
Nationally recognized testing laboratory and approval service recognized by OSHA.
FPS
Feet per second.
FPT
Female pipe thread.
Fume
Solid particles of extremely small size, created when solid materials vaporize under high heat and then cool. Produced from operations such as welding, smelting, and pouring molten metal.
G
Gauntlet
Glove cuff 4" or more in length which gets wider towards the end.
GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
Device that provides protection for people and equipment from ground faults or sudden equipment restarts after a power failure.
GMAW
Gas metal arc welding (MIG).
GPH
Gallons per hour.
GPM
Gallons per minute.
Grain Leather
Smooth external side of the hide. Provides durability and dexterity.
Gunn Pattern
Glove pattern featuring a wing thumb, welted seams, full leather index finger, finger tips, and knuckle straps.
H
H2S
Hydrogen Sulfide.
Halogen
Light bulb which is brighter than fluorescent and krypton.
Hasp
Lockout device designed to prevent accidental equipment start-up.
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter)
At least 99.97% efficient against particulates.
Hertz (Hz)
Unit of measurement equal to one cycle per second.
HP
Horsepower.
HVAC
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
I
IBC
Intermediate bulk container/containment.
ID
Inner diameter.
IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health)
The maximum concentration of a chemical in the air to which one can be exposed without suffering irreversible health effects.
Impedance
Found in complex AC circuits. Similar to resistance. Made up of resistance, frequency, and either capacitance or inductance.
Impregnated
Filled or saturated with a substance.
Incandescent
Luminous light with intense heat.
Indirect Venting
Allows only air through, not liquid or particles. Commonly used in chemical applications.
Inductance
Circuit element, usually a conducting coil, in which electromagnetic induction generates electromotive force.
Injection Molded
When material is introduced into a mold to form a product.
Intrinsically Safe
Product that won't cause spark in an explosive environment.
Inverter Welder
Semi-conductor circuitry boosts input frequency to 20,000-100,000 Hz reducing the need for a large heavy transformer.
IPM
Impacts per minute.
IPS
Iron Pipe Standard (pipe thread specification).
ISEA
International Society of Exposure Limit.
ISO
International Organization for Standardization.
Isotonic
Buffered to the same pH balance as the human eye.
J
Jersey
Knitted material that is extremely soft and comfortable to wear.
Joule
Unit of energy used in describing a single pulse output of a laser.
K
Kevlar
Cut-resistant, flame retardant fiber offers heat resistance and is often used in clothing.
Knitwrist
Knitted wristband prevents glove from falling off and debris from entering. Also keeps hands warmer.
KW
Kilowatt.
L
Lanyard
Flexible line used to secure a body harness to a lifeline or anchorage point.
LCD
Liquid crystal display.
LED (Light Emitting Diode)
Electrical device used as an indicator light.
LEL (Lowest Explosive Level)
Minimum percent of a combustible gas that could cause an explosion if exposed to any source of ignition.
Level A clothing
Should be worn when the highest level of respiratory, skin, and eye protection is needed.
Level B clothing
Should be worn when the highest level of respiratory protection is needed, but a lesser level of skin protection.
Level C clothing
Should be worn when using air purifying respirators.
Level D clothing
Should be worn only as a work uniform and not on any site with respiratory or skin hazards.
Lexan®
Clear material used for faceshields. Impact and high heat resistant – up to 380°F.
Lifeline
Line provided for direct or indirect attachment to a worker's body harness, lanyard, or deceleration device. Good for horizontal or vertical applications.
Lined Glove
Supported glove which provides reinforced wear, comfort, insulation, and added resistance to abrasion, cuts, snags, and punctures.
LOTO
Lockout tagout.
Low Emulsifying Wash
Allows oils to be easily separated and collected from discharge wash water for recycling.
LP
Liquid propane.
Lumbar
The lower back.
M
Manual Ranging
A DMM which requires physical selection of different range settings for varying measurement inputs.
Metatarsal
Top part of the foot above the toes and below the shin bone.
Microfiber
Type of fabric created with fibers that are thousands of times smaller than fibers in conventional fabrics. Provides exceptional pick-up ability.
Micron
Unit of measure for particle size. The smaller the number, the smaller the particle.
Microprocessor
Computer on a chip. Selects ranges in auto-ranging meters and calculates true RMS voltages.
Mid-Sole
Protective sole, usually made of steel, that protects the underside of the foot against punctures resulting from stepping on sharp objects.
MIG
Metal inert gas.
Mil
Millimeter, 1/1000 of an inch.
MPT
Male pipe thread.
MSHA
Mine Safety and Health Administration.
MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
Contains descriptive information on hazardous chemicals under OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard. Provides precautionary information on the safe handling of the chemical, as well as emergency and first aid procedures.
MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices)
Defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all streets and highways.
N
Nebulizer
Hand-held ball that produces a mist or cloud when squeezed. Used in fit testing applications.
Negative Pressure
Respirators that depend on wearer's lung power to draw air through filter material.
NEMA
National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
Neoprene
Synthetic rubber that is lightweight and flexible even in temperature extremes. Has a wide range of chemical and abrasion resistance.
NFPA
National Fire Protection Association.
NFPA 70E (National Fire Protection Association 70E)
The standard for electrical safety in the workplace.
NG
Natural gas.
NiCad
Nickel cadmium battery.
NiMH
Nickel metal hydride battery.
NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Independent federal agency which tests and certifies respirators.
Nitrile
Synthetic rubber resists a wide range of chemicals, as well as punctures, cuts, snags, and abrasions.
Nomex® IIIA
DuPont™ flame retardant fabric woven into many materials.
Nose Cup
Part of a full face respirator that is designed to reduce fogging.
NPT
National pipe thread.
NPTF
National pipe thread female.
NPTM
National pipe thread male.
NRR (Noise Reduction Rating)
The number of decibels by which the surrounding noise level is reduced.
Nuisance Level
Air concentration of a chemical below OSHA's permissible exposure limit.
Nylon
A tough, stretchable synthetic material.
O
O2
Oxygen.
OD
Outside diameter.
Odor Threshold
Lowest concentration at which a substance can be detected by smell.
Ohm
Unit of measure for resistance. Also, the unit of measure for impedance.
Olefin
Synthetic fiber similar to propylene or ethylene.
OPM
Orbits per minute.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Oversees and regulates workplace health and safety.
Ozone
A form of oxygen that is an irritating, sharp-smelling gas. Prevalent when striking an arc while welding on aluminum, galvanized or stainless steel.
P
PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator)
Respirator system that uses a blower motor to pull in air and distribute it through a hose to a facepiece.
Particulate
Tiny pieces of dry or liquid matter (i.e. dust, mist, fume, smoke).
PEL (Permissible Exposure Limit)
OSHA designated exposure limits to particles or gases.
Permeation
When a chemical penetrates through a protective material.
PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol)
Material used for chemical and light impact protection.
pH
A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance on a scale of 0-14, where 7 is neutral. Less than 7 is acid. Greater than 7 is alkali.
Phenolic Wheel
Made from macerated canvas and resin. Resists shock, abrasion, and most oil and acids.
Plexiglas™
Material used to protect against impact and high heat – up to 300°F.
Pneumatic
Air operated; used with air.
Pneumatic Wheel
Tube-type inflated tire with sawtooth tread pattern for better traction on wet surfaces.
Polycarbonate
Extremely impact resistant material that blocks out 99.9% of UV rays.
Polyethylene
Non-woven, lightweight plastic material that resists chemicals and moisture.
Polypropylene
Breathable, non-woven, lightweight thermoplastic material.
Positive Pressure
Refers to respirators in which air is delivered by either pump, compressor, tank, or through a motor blower. Maintains a constant flow of clean air and prevents contaminants from entering.
PPM (Parts Per Million)
Measures very low concentrations or contamination levels.
Prefilter
Used on air purifying respirators. Prefilter traps particles and helps prolong the life of the cartridge. May also be used without a cartridge.
Pressure Demand
A positive pressure respirator that regulates air flow only when a person breathes. Conserves limited air supplies.
Propionate
Provides excellent abrasion resistance and limited chemical resistance.
PSA
Pressure sensitive adhesive.
PSI (Pounds per Square Inch)
Measurement of pressure exerted by a solid, liquid, or gas.
PSIG
Pounds per square inch gauge.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
Synthetic, abrasion resistant material that protects against most acids, oils, fats, caustics, and petroleum hydrocarbons. Also commonly used in drain pipes.
Q
Qualitative Fit Testing
Tests the integrity of respirator's seal by determining if worker can smell or taste a test agent such as saccharin, banana oil, or smoke.
Quantitative Fit Testing
Respirator is worn in a test atmosphere inside a booth while instrumentation measures any leakage into the respirator.
R
Rebar
Steel concrete reinforcement bars.
Resistance
Measure of the opposition to current flow through a component. Typically associated with resistors.
Resistor
Fundamental electronic component which will resist voltage.
Resolution
The smallest unit of measure which a DMM (Digital Multimeter) can display.
Retainer
Plastic ring that holds a cartridge or filter on a respirator.
RFI
Radio frequency interference.
RMS (Root Means Square)
Formula used to calculate electronic signals. True RMS meters are highly accurate.
Rolled Cuff
Provides additional cuff strength.
Rope Grab
Device which attaches to a lifeline and provides a means of arresting a fall.
RPM
Revolutions per minute.
Rubber
Offers excellent abrasion, cut, tear, and temperature resistance, as well as great grip. Has poor flame resistance.
Rubberized Cuff
Rubber cement applied for added stiffness and durability.
S
Safety Cuff
Loose fitting, 2 1/2" cuff allows glove to slip off if it becomes entangled.
SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus)
Supplied air system in which the air is supplied from a tank carried by the user.
Sealed Seam
Produced when materials are lapped and then thermally welded to produce a strong, tear resistant seam. There are no fillers, sealants, bindings, thread, or needle holes.
SEI
Safety Equipment Institute.
Self-Retracting Lifeline
Decelerating device which allows freedom of movement. Extends and retracts with the worker.
Semi-Pneumatic Wheel
Solid, cushioned tires made from a rubber compound. Impact-resistant and puncture-proof.
Serged Seam
Has 3 threads interlocked around the raw edges of material. For low hazard protective clothing.
SFPM
Surface feet per minute applies to band saw blade speed.
Shade #
Refers to a lens which intercepts rays of light. Different shade #'s are used in applications such as welding.
Shank
Provides extra arch support in shoes and boots.
Shock Absorber
Allows dissipation of energy by extending the deceleration distance to reduce the fall arrest force.
Shoulder Split Leather
More economical than side split. Visible texture difference.
Side Split Leather
Most durable split leather. Provides the greatest protection.
Silicone
Provides flexibility, resiliency, and tensile strength over a wide temperature range.
Sine Wave
An alternating, repetitive waveform going both positive and negative with equal amplitude on both sides of the zero reference line.
Single-Stage Compressor
Compression takes place in one step. Typical operating range of 80-100 psi.
SMS
Spun bond, melt-blown, spun bond polypropylene material which provides a fluid and particulate barrier to protect workers. SMS fabric is lightweight, strong, breathable, durable, soft, and resistant to tears and punctures.
Snap Hook
Self-closing, self-locking device which remains closed until manually opened. Most commonly found on lanyards and used to connect to body harness and an anchorage point.
Spectacle Kit
Allows worker's eyeglass prescription to be incorporated into a full face respirator.
Spectra
Strongest cut and burn resistant fiber available.
SPM
Strokes per minute.
Starched Cuff
Starched for added durability.
STEL
Short term exposure limit.
Straight Cuff
Provides a snug fit and protects skin from chemical run-off.
Strapped Seam
Strong, gas-tight seam produced by covering the seam with a strip of material.
Supported Glove
Has a cloth liner for added comfort, support, and wear.
T
Tensile Strength
The greatest amount of stress a substance can bear without tearing.
Terrycloth
Cotton fabric material in which the fabric strands are looped in or out. Offers good heat resistance.
Tie-Off
Connect to an anchorage point.
Tie-Off Strap
A polyester or nylon strap used as a temporary means of connection to an anchorage point.
TIG
Tungsten inert gas.
TLV (Threshold Limit Value)
An estimate of the average safe airborne concentration of a substance that workers may be exposed to day after day without adverse effect.
Torque
The capability of a force to produce torsion or rotation on its axis.
TPP
Thermal protective performance.
TSR (Traffic Signal Recognition)
ANSI standard that states a colored lens must not change the natural color of what the eye sees.
TWA
Time-weighted average.
Two-Stage Compressor
Two-step compression. Air from first compression is cooled then compressed again. Typical operating range 140-175 psi.
Type 1 Safety Can
Dispense and fill from a single opening.
Type 2 Safety Can
Has fixed nozzle and separate openings for dispensing and filling for a higher level of safety.
U
UFC
Uniform Fire Code.
UHF
Ultra high frequency.
UL (Underwriters Laboratories)
An independent organization which operates laboratories to investigate devices and materials for potential hazards.
UNDOT
United Nations Department of Transportation.
Unsupported Glove
Gloves without any type of lining.
USCG
United States Coast Guard.
USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)
Monitors and inspects meat and poultry facilities for proper handling and packaging.
UV
Ultra violet.
Uvextreme®
Anti-fog, anti-static, and anti-scratch eyewear lens coating by Uvex.
V
VAC
Volts alternating current.
Vapor
Gaseous form of substances which are normally in the solid or liquid state at room temperature and pressure.
VDC
Volts direct current.
Vermilion
Red lens especially for indoor use to enhance contrast. Protects from fluorescent and halogen light glare.
VHF
Very high frequency.
Vinyl
Abrasion resistant, synthetic polymer that resists most acids, oils, fats, caustics, and petroleum hydrocarbons.
Viscous
Thick flowing liquid.
Viton
Most chemical resistant of all the rubbers. Protects against PCBs and most solvents. Offers excellent resistance to gas and water vapors, but offers minimal resistance to cuts or abrasion.
VOC
Volatile organic compound.
Volatile
Easily becoming a vapor at a fairly low temperature.
Volt
Unit of electrical measure.
VOX
Voice activation (hands-free use).
VSR
Variable speed reverse.
W
Watts
Metric unit of power equal to the work done at the rate of one joule per second.
Welted Seam
Extra material added to reinforce and increase durability. Reduces the chance of burn-through.
Winch
Fall protection device used in raising and lowering operations. Has independent braking systems and a maximum capacity of 350 lbs.